Q&A: When Should You Start Giving Your Baby Solid Foodsby Dr. Christine Wood, M.D
Q My son is 3 months old, and I am wondering when you think the best time to start giving him solid food would be, like Pablum and jars of veggies and fruit etc.? I have heard it is not beneficial to put the cereal in the baby's formula bottle, since it adds more calories than might be required. He currently eats aboout 30-36 ounces of formula, and does not seem to want to eat more often than usual. He is sleeping 12 hours through the night, his last feeding is right before bed, and the first as soon as he wakes up.
A The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting solids between 4 and 6 months of age. I would try to hold off until then, although it does sound like he is a big eater. Signs of readiness for solids: good head control, watching you eat, mouthing motions as you eat and bringing toys to the mouth. They often have a tongue thrust that makes them push the solids out initially, but then they figure out how to eat and swallow the food.
I usually recommend starting with rice cereal for a few weeks by spoon (you are right about not putting it in the bottle) and then going with vegetables, and then fruits. Introduce one new food every 4 or 5 days. Once a day in the beginning is usually enough, but some babies just love the solids, and you can move to twice a day after a few weeks.Dr. Christine Wood is a practicing pediatrician in Southern California. Visit her website at http://www.callyourped.com
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